Tis the season of colored lights, snow, hot chocolate, and gifts. The holiday season is most people's favorite time of year because there is excitement and anticipation in shopping for gifts and receiving surprises. Christmas is notoriously overlooked as a holiday for presents, but maybe that's true. Not in the sense of material gifts but theoretical or non-tangible gifts. Of course there are presents involved on Christmas morning and throughout Hanukkah, but the entire holiday season is full of gifts that many don't even recognize.

If you were asked if you preferred giving or receiving what would you say? There is the pure excitement in opening a mystery gift but also sheer satisfaction in watching a loved one open a gift you picked out especially for them. I will admit, I love both. The holiday season is special and naturally includes gifts of some sort. The important thing to understand is that the gifts wrapped up all perfect and pretty are not the only gifts you will give or receive. Whether you know it or not, you will give and receive gifts throughout the holiday season to those around you.

A smile to a stranger, holding the door, kind words to a friend who needs to hear them, a hug to a family member, or a simple thank you to someone who does a lot for you. Even working hard on a final project or studying for a final exam that you end up doing really well on is a gift. If we looked at the holiday season this way, we would all see how immensely blessed and abundant our gifts are.

You don't need money to give gifts or make someone's holiday season bright. Just by being kind, genuine, honest, and friendly, you are giving gifts that cannot be put under the tree. This mindset gives me so much joy and satisfaction knowing that my holiday season will be full of gifts no matter if I unwrap anything on Christmas Day or not.

Hopefully this article brings you some peace and reassurance that just being yourself is a gift enough, and you could make someone's holiday season a little brighter just with your presence. The saying is cheesy, but it rings true for this occasion: your presence is a present. Believe it because it is true.